Posted in #HCSM

Why (And How) You Should Create Recurring Content on Your Blog

Do you have a recurring content feature on your blog? If not, it’s something I’d recommend you consider as a regular element of your editorial calendar.

Recurring content form hooks which keep readers interested in coming back to your blog or seeking similarly related posts.  From a writer’s point of view it can enhance your creativity – choosing a topic in advance triggers your brain to come up with new ideas and make connections.

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I’ve experimented over the years with many different types of regular recurring columns on various blogs.  I’ve focused recently on a Cool Tool feature which I post each Monday morning.

Before you introduce a regular feature to readers, it’s important to take some time to choose a topic which matches your content strategy and crucially won’t have you running out of ideas after a few weeks.  Ideally your topic should be associated with your keyword phrases to support your organic search efforts.

Once you’ve decided on your topic, decide on the elements you will use to maintain consistency in the design and format of your content.  Choose the same day and time to publish so readers know to expect it at that time each week – this helps build an audience for your content.  Keep the format and design elements consistent.

Here are three types of recurring features to add to your content marketing.

  1. Advice Column

Set aside one day a week to provide step-by-step instructions, or answer readers’ questions.  A great example is Moz’s Rand Fiskin’s Whiteboard Friday.

  1. Interview Series

I ran an interview series, Social Spotlight, last year with healthcare thought leaders.  It followed a consistent question format, with some tailoring to the interviewee, and was a popular addition to my content calendar.

  1. Weekly Round-Up Post

I run several weekly round-up style posts for client blogs focussed on their niche. I curate the most helpful, interesting and topical news from their industry and publish them in a blog post, usually on a Friday.  It’s always the most read content when I check the weekly blog stats.

Of course your recurring content can live outside the written word. With the popularity of video, consider adding a regular vlog or even more popular, a Facebook Live recurring feature. For a super example of this, check out social media marketer, Amanda Webb who goes live on Facebook each Friday morning with a round-up of the latest social media news.

Recurring posts of high value keeps your audience interested and coming back for more. By adding a regular recurring feature to your content marketing you give your audience something to look forward, while at the same time building a unique and recognisable element into your brand.

Do you have a recurring content feature on your blog? What are some of your favourite examples of recurring content themes?

Posted in #HCSM

Social Media: A New Dimension In Health Research #HealthXPh

I’m so honored to have been invited to give the opening keynote address at the 3rd #HealthXPh Philippine Healthcare Social Media Summit  this week. I love this year’s theme of  “Social Media & Health Research: Connections that Matter.

My presentation highlights social media as a dynamic platform to conduct research on a global scale and to amplify and disseminate research findings. I focus on an understanding of some key characteristics of social media which can be leveraged for research purposes, such as interactivity and real-time communication on a global scale. What this presents is an opportunity for conducting research with an existing audience of highly targeted, motivated and connected patients.

I recommend tapping into the power of existing patient networks through social media as a means to mobilize and accelerate research faster than ever before. However, I stress that online communities are not just there to be taken from, but also given to. So I challenge researchers to consider how they might build trust and authenticity with a community of e-patients.

I finished my keynote presentation by sharing some best practice tips and left the audience with a final challenge to go beyond a basic level of social media activity to become exceptional digital communicators.  I ended with one of my favourite quotes from social media marketing guru Seth Godin.

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Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Quotes Cover

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Quotes Cover.

Quotes Cover turns quotes or short text into images for social media and high resolution image for posters or other print design.  It’s so simple to use. Simply enter your quote or text and then choose your preferred design elements, such as font, shadow effect, and color.  You can upload your own image as a background, or keep it plain as I have in the following example.

When you are happy with your design, simply save in JPG or PNG format and it’s ready for you to use on your chosen social media sites.   Here’s my finished design:

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: GIMP

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is GIMP – a free and open source image editor for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

GIMP (an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program) has many uses from a simple paint program and a quality photo retouching tool to an image format converter and an online batch processing system. Here’s an example from one of GIMP’s step-by-step tutorials showing how to modify the filesize of an image when exporting it to a format like JPEG.

This  is a basic feature, but there are many more advanced features to explore. It’s a useful alternative to Photoshop for those who don’t have access to it. Check it out at www.gimp.org and see for yourself.

Posted in #HCSM

A Step By Step Guide To Digital Storytelling With Storify

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Storify is a platform that allows you to tell stories using elements from the social web such as tweets, Flickr photos and YouTube videos.  There are so many ways to use the Storify app; one of my favourite ways is to capture tweets from a live event and turn them into a visually compelling story.

If you are new to the Storify app, follow my easy step-by-step guide to help you create your first story.

1. Log-in using Twitter or Facebook.

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2. Click on Create New Story which will open a blank platform for you to create your story

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3. On the top right hand corner you will find media sources to curate the elements of your story. You can search Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Google for elements to include.

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4.  Start by adding a headline for your story and a brief description so people will know what your story is about.

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5. You can search for elements to add to your story from your chosen media sources.Once you find something you want to add drag it over to your story. This drag-and-drop method is what makes Storify such a great platform to work with as it keeps all of the original links and functionality of the original source and embeds them into your story.

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6. Now add your commentary – this step is optional but it is a great way to personalise a story and add your own unique voice. For instructions on how to add a cover image, click here.

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7. It is easy to make changes to your story. To delete an element hit the X in the right corner; to reorder elements in a story simply drag and drop.

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8. When you are happy with your story, hit publish.

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9. You can then notify people who have been quoted in your story, helping make it go viral.

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10. You can also share your story on social networks and embed it on your website or blog.

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At first glance Storify may seem like a complicated platform to master, but my Storify tutorial shows you it is really quite easy and fun to tell a story online.

If you would like to see some examples check out my profile at: https://storify.com/JBBC

Happy Storytelling!

Posted in #HCSM

Stuck For What To Post On Social Media? Here’s The Solution

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Maintaining a consistent posting schedule on social media – whether it’s writing blog posts, or sharing updates on social media channels – can be a challenge.  When I teach social media classes, I always recommend creating an editorial calendar so you can map out in advance upcoming holidays and cause awareness days.   By doing this, you will have a ready supply of things to share on social media.

To help you plan your content in advance, Hubspot has released a super-helpful social media calendar for the remainder of 2017.  It’s downloadable, so you have an instant editorial calendar complete with hashtags to use on Twitter. Take a look at it and see which days you could build engagement around. Have some fun with it, but do make sure it fits with your brand.  I’ve already spotted some fun awareness days I wish I had known about – like #NationalAwkwardMomentsDay which was on 18 March –  but there’s still time to plan for #FindARainbowDay (3 April), #NationalPetDay (11 April) and #HaikuPoetryDay (17 April).

According to the calendar, today is #NationalDoctorsDay so what are you waiting for? Heere are some very nice examples on Twitter and Facebook to inspire you.

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Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Freerange Stock Images

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Freerange which provides free high res stock photos for commercial and non-commercial use.

The photos either come directly from  in-house photographers and archives or they are contributed by a growing community of  photographers. Images provided directly (in-house) by Freerange Stock originate one of two ways. They are either digitally photographed on Canon DSLR cameras or they are a high resolution (4000 dpi) Nikon scan of an original 35mm slide. Once the image is acquired, the photo is sharpened, color corrected, cropped and keyworded. Some images are manipulated in Photoshop to make them more effective. Then the original is archived and a 2400×1600 version is optimized and output, then posted on the live site.

It’s certainly one of the best sources of stock photos I’ve come across – and it’s free! Try it today.

Posted in #HCSM, Twitter

Twitter Adds Moments Analytics 

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Twitter has announced the launch of Moments analytics, a new tool which will show you a range of stats for each Moment you create, including ‘Opens’, ‘Unique opens’, ‘Likes’, ‘Shares’ and ‘Completion rate’.

Moments allows you to curate a series, or gallery, of tweets revolving around a particular theme, such as a developing news story or cultural meme. I’ve been a fan of the feature since Twitter unrolled it to all users late last year. However I seem to be in a minority of users. There just hasn’t been the uptake. This is a shame because I do think it has potential. Here’s an example of a recent Moments story I created:

There are some great tips on using Moments for your business in this post. Check them out and give Moments a fresh look.

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